Holiday season: Using time off to come back to work stronger and sharper.

navigation america Nov 22, 2023

Welcome back to my blog, I have so much gratitude and feel honored that you use your precious time reading this offering. This is about a 5 minute read

Let's dive

Switching off from work and other stressors to fully engage in family time is essential for peak performance. This practice is not just about work-life balance but also about how the brain and body benefit from distinct periods of rest and engagement. Here's the science behind it:


 Cognitive Restoration

  • Mental Breaks and Productivity: Our brains are not designed for continuous, intensive use without breaks. Periods of rest are crucial for maintaining high levels of cognitive function. When we step away from work, especially in a meaningful way like spending time with family, we allow our brains to recover and restore.
  • Attention Restoration Theory: This theory suggests that spending time in restful environments can restore the brain's ability to focus and process information effectively. Engaging in family activities, particularly in nature or relaxed settings, can rejuvenate cognitive resources drained by work. There are several other activities that benefit in-turn from switching yourself off for some time which goes deeper in your psyche of healing. Examples would be better sleep, better relationships with other beings and physical health benefits, higher rate of vitality which is important to age better. 

So what could you be doing with this time?

1. Mindfulness and Meditation; key word Mindfulness
 Mindfulness and meditation have profound impacts on the brain, notably in regions involved in attention, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. Regular practice can reduce the size of the amygdala, the brain's "fight or flight" center, and strengthen connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, leading to better emotional control. This is important stuff, if you have ever built anything you know it takes time, don't sleep on this one.

Practical Activity: Engage in daily meditation sessions focusing on breath or body scans. Beginners can start with guided meditations available through apps or online platforms. Even 10 minutes daily to begin with can be beneficial. Personally, I sit down with either pure silence or some mild calming music and meditate for 15-20 minutes everyday. Trust me, this will have ripples in every other area of your life.

Deepening Social Connections
Positive social interactions stimulate the release of neurotransmitters like oxytocin and serotonin, enhancing feelings of happiness and belonging. These interactions also activate brain regions linked to reward and empathy, further reinforcing social bonding. So next time you hang out with someone, assuming you like this person at any level. Try to go deeper with them and connect as if your 10 year old self would.

Practical Activity: Schedule quality time with loved ones, free from distractions like phones or television. Activities could include shared hobbies, cooking a meal together, or engaging in deep, meaningful conversations. Please note: Keyword here is "free from distractions". Please put your phone away.

3. Practicing Gratitude
Gratitude activates the brain regions associated with dopamine production, which plays a major role in experiencing pleasure and reward. Regular gratitude practices can lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction. It also trains your brain to be more inclined towards looking at the positive picture instead of the negative pull that we have inherited from our forefathers.

Practical Activity: Keep a gratitude journal, writing down three things you're grateful for each day. Alternatively, share these thoughts with a family member or friend, turning it into a bonding experience.

4. Prioritizing Restful and Quality Sleep
Good quality sleep is essential for brain health. It's during sleep that the brain consolidates memories, processes emotional experiences, and clears metabolic waste. Lack of quality sleep can impair cognitive functions and increase stress levels. Stop giving into the "Hustle culture" of someone trying to sell you something and hyping you up on sleeping 3 hours a day for 20 years . You are in a marathon, act like it.

Practical Activity: Establish a relaxing pre-sleep routine. This might include reading, taking a hot bath, or practicing light stretching or yoga. Aim to go to bed and wake up at consistent times, even during your holiday. Nap time is Golden btw.

5. Digital Detox
Constant connectivity can lead to cognitive overload, stress, and reduced attention span. Taking a break from digital devices allows the brain to recover from this constant stimulation.

Practical Activity: Set specific times to check emails or social media rather than doing it continuously. Consider a full day or even a weekend without any digital devices. I know people who do this well (Including myself) 

6. Engaging in Creative Activities
Creative activities like painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument activate multiple areas of the brain, including those involved in motor functions, problem-solving, and creativity. This can be a form of mental exercise, providing a sense of accomplishment and relaxation. 

PS: Video games can into this category but the goal here is to engage certain parts of the brain and take it OUT of beta and into Alpha. So I wouldn't use video games as an excuse for creative activities

Practical Activity: Dedicate time to a creative hobby, or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. The key is to engage in this activity without any performance pressure, simply for the joy and relaxation it brings.

Integrating these strategies into your holiday period can lead to significant mental and physical rejuvenation. Mindfulness and meditation, deepening social connections, practicing gratitude, prioritizing sleep, digital detox, and creative engagement each play a unique role in refreshing the mind and body, setting you up for a more productive and fulfilling return to your routine.

If this helped, I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter. It's bi-weekly and is really designed to Peak performance at the forefront instead of Spamming you buy products that won't serve you.

Here is the link

You are enough, you are loved and you don't need to prove yourself. Just be better than you were yesterday. <3 
-Sumant Joshi

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.